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OSU Extension hosts national conference for volunteers

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

volunteer conference speaker


Keith Nathaniel from the University of California Extension in Los Angeles County presents during the National Extension Conference on Volunteerism in Tulsa. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)


Oklahoma State University Extension hosted the National Extension Conference on Volunteerism April 25-28 in Tulsa.


More than 200 administrators, staff and volunteers from OSU Extension and 44 other state Extension systems across the nation gathered to learn about the latest trends and research in volunteerism. The biannual event presented innovative ideas for reaching, engaging and retaining volunteers to improve volunteer management practices for Extension professionals.


OSU Extension originally was scheduled to host the conference in 2020 but shifted to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said they were pleased to extend their commitment to an in-person event in 2022.


“We welcomed presenters involved in outstanding research and programming in their respective fields related to volunteer engagement and retention,” said Karla Knoepfli, an Extension specialist in 4-H Youth Development. “OSU Extension is committed to recruiting, supporting and retaining a diverse base of volunteers to achieve our mission of delivering educational programming that enriches community growth and sustainability.”


Conference participants networked with peers while attending sessions on topics including:

  • Succession planning and leadership structure for 4-H clubs
  • Recruiting and helping volunteers thrive through the Northeast Region Volunteerism Group (NERV) Impact Survey
  • Developmental stages of an Extension professional
  • Situational management for handling volunteer issues

In addition to keynote speakers and educational workshops, pre-conference participants had an opportunity to tour Tulsa’s nationally recognized riverfront park, The Gathering Place, as well as the Philbrook Museum Garden.

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